Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Two Libyan men stand accused of the appalling and cowardly murders of 270 passengers, crew and members of the public on the ground, following the destruction by a terrorist bomb of the transatlantic Pan Am flight over the small Border town of Lockerbie on 21 December, 1988. A Special Court of high security at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands has been empowered to hear the trial, which will be conducted under Scottish law, and presided over by three Scottish judges, without a jury. Four secure remote sites have been approved by the court, at the request and expense of the US Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), at which grieving families could attend (provided they maintain appropriate decorum) and witness live televised footage of the trial, encrypted and transmitted by a fibre-optic cable down a telephone line, rather than by satellite, to prevent access to and re-broadcast by others. At the end of each day, all videotapes would be erased. (A similar model adopted by OVC worked well at the trial arising from the Oklahoma explosion). The Crown was not involved in the installation of the cameras in the courtroom, and they were not the equipment of the BBC.Since 1992, provided there was no risk to the administration of justice, television cameras could be present at a Scottish (but not English) trial, although not at criminal cases at first instance, due to the risk of prejudice to the jury or effect upon witnesses, but only with permission of the judge and consent of all parties. Despite requests, the accused refused to consent to a televised trial. In addition to news bulletins, the BBC also wanted to broadcast the entire trial on the internet. The High Court of Justiciary retains the nobile officium, a supreme power and overriding authority in equity, which may be exercised in extraordinary circumstances, particularly where there is no other avenue for review open to the petitioner. The BBC issued two petitions, the first resulting in the opinion of Lord MacFadyen of 7 March, 2000, the second resulting in the opinion of Lord Kirkwood, in the chair of the Appeal Court, on 20 April, 2000. Together, they reveal why the BBC was denied permission to broadcast.

This premium content is reserved for
Legal Week Subscribers.


  • Trusted insight, news and analysis from the UK and across the globe
  • Connections to senior business lawyers within the leading law firms and legal departments
  • Unique access to ALM's unrivalled, market-leading reporting in the US and Asia and cutting-edge research, including Legal Week's UK Top 50 and Global 100 rankings
  • The Legal Week Daily News Alert, Editor's Highlights, and Breaking News digital newsletters and more, plus a choice of over 70 ALM newsletters
  • Optimized access on all of your devices: desktop, tablet and mobile
  • Complete access to the site's full archive of more than 56,000 articles

Already have an account?

For enterprise-wide or corporate enquiries, please contact Paul Reeves on Preeves@alm.com or call on +44 (0) 203 875 0651


Legal Week Newsletters & Alerts

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your subscription, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters and alerts. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2019 American Lawyer Media International, LLC. All Rights Reserved.